UMass Amherst Stonewall Center

The Stonewall Center at UMass Amherst
Photo - inside the Stonewall Center

UMass Trans Resource Guide

Who Can I Go to on Campus for Help?

Does UMass Amherst Cover Trans People in Its Nondiscrimination Policy?

What Is the UMass Policy on Bathroom Access for Trans and Gender-Nonconforming People?

Where Can I Find Gender-Inclusive Bathrooms on Campus?

Does UMass Amherst Provide Gender-Inclusive Housing?

How Does Residential Life Make Housing Assignments for Trans Students?

How Can Students Legally Change Their Names?

How Can Students Have a Chosen Name on Class Rosters?

How Can Students Have a Chosen Name Rather than Their Legal Name on Their UCards (Student ID Cards) and Other Public Campus Records?

How Can Students Change the Gender Marker on Campus Records?

How Can Students and Staff Have Their Chosen Name Rather than Their Legal Name Be Used in "People Finder" (the UMass Online Directory)?

How Can Students Change the Name in Their UMass Email Address?

How Can Students Have Their Chosen Name on Their Diplomas?

What Health Care Services Are Available on Campus to Transitioning Students?

Is the Rec Center Accommodating to Trans Students?

Can Trans Students Participate in Campus (Non-NCAA) Sports?

How Can I Change My Gender or Name with UMass as an Alumni?







Who Can I Go to on Campus for Help?

The Stonewall Center can assist with any trans-related issue. The director, Genny Beemyn, is trans. The Dean of Students Office (DOSO) can also be of assistance. The Stonewall Center works closely with DOSO and has conducted a special trans training for its staff.

The Stonewall Center has also established point people in departments where trans people might have particular needs. These individuals have attended a special trans training.

Bursar's Office: Erin Zuzula

Campus Recreation: John Blihar

Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH): Lydia Rackenberg

Commonwealth Honors College Advising: Brenda Barlow

Disability Services: Kris Watson and Rachel Adams

Financial Aid Services: Matt Mourovic

New Student Orientation: Elizabeth Cleary

Ombuds Office: Martha Nelson Patrick

Registrar's Office: Judy Thornton and Lynn Kells

Residential Life: Justin Dowd

Student Activities & Involvement: Lydia Washington

Student Legal Services Office: Raquel Manzanares

UMass Police Department (UMPD): Tom O'Donnell and Robert (Chip) Thrasher

University Health Services (UHS): Cindy Hildebrand



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Does UMass Amherst Cover Trans People in Its Nondiscrimination Policy?

In August 2009, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst added "gender identity and expression" to its nondiscrimination policy. The town of Amherst also includes "gender identity/expression" in its human rights policy.


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What Is the UMass Policy on Bathroom Access for Trans and Gender-Nonconforming People?

UMass Amherst is one of the few colleges in the country to have a formal policy on the rights of trans people in campus bathrooms. The policy enables trans and gender-nonconforming people to use the gendered bathrooms in which they feel safer and more comfortable.

The specific wording of the policy is: "The University of Massachusetts, Amherst strives to create and sustain a campus environment that supports and values all members of our community. One aspect of creating a supportive environment is providing safe, accessible, and convenient bathroom facilities. Students, staff, faculty, and campus guests should use the bathroom facilities that correspond to their sex or gender identity, or utilize bathrooms that are designated gender-neutral or gender-inclusive."


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Where Can I Find Gender-Inclusive Bathrooms on Campus?

See the list at http://www.umass.edu/stonewall/bathrooms

Future Construction
All major renovations and new facilities built on the University of Massachusetts, Amherst campus after January 2010 that are required by state or federal law to have an accessible bathroom will include a single-user accessible bathroom facility that is gender inclusive.



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Does UMass Amherst Provide Gender-Inclusive Housing?


All students may request Gender-Inclusive Housing, a defined residential community created for this purpose. Gender-inclusive rooms are also available on the Spectrum floor, the LGBTA living-learning community. If you are a returning or incoming student interested in the Gender-Inclusive Housing option or the Spectrum floor, email the Residential Life staff at living@umass.edu for more information.


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How Does Residential Life Make Housing Assignments for Trans Students?


Residential Life, in conjunction with the Dean of Students Office, has set up a referral process for trans students to provide assistance in selecting the best housing option for their particular needs. Current and new trans students are encouraged to contact the Housing Accommodations staff at Residential Life. Please email living@umass.edu for more information.

Residential Life has developed the following position statement (from http://www.housing.umass.edu/pdf/Sexual%20Orientation.pdf):
Statement on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression

The University community of students, faculty and staff can be seen as a microcosm of the Commonwealth. As a state university, our population represents the rich diversity of the population of Massachusetts. It also shares the Commonwealth's complex task of creating an environment where people of different backgrounds and interests can interact in safe and humane ways. As an educational institution, the University is ideally suited to the task of making life in a diverse community a positive, educational experience. In order to accomplish this, the University must remain responsive and sensitive to the needs of all its members.

As gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people become more visible nationally and in the Commonwealth, more concern is manifested by legislators, taxpayers and parents of students. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have always been a part of the University community, just as they have always played a part of every aspect of national life as legislators, taxpayers and parents of students, as well as University faculty, staff and students.

The issue for the University is not that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals are becoming part of the community, but rather that they may choose to become a much more visible and vocal part. Housing and Residence Life has long held and continues to hold the position that basic rights must and will be extended to all members of the community. Acting upon this position involves eradicating certain misconceptions as well as espousing certain assertions.

First, Housing and Residence Life asserts that a person's sexual orientation or gender identity/expression should not be a criterion in employment decisions.

Second, Housing and Residence Life further asserts that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and staff are entitled to an environment which is non-oppressive. Harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity/expression is not acceptable and will be addressed through appropriate administrative action as well as educational programming.

Third, role modeling and professional competence are not affected by sexual orientation or gender identity/expression any more than they are by any other personal characteristic such as race, sex, or disability. The chance for students to get to know gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender staff, faculty, and students can be an important part of the educational process.

Fourth, the University community and those who are concerned with its welfare must not confuse demands for human rights with proselytizing and sexual aggression. The University has a responsibility when members of the community ask to participate fully and openly in the life of the community.

Fifth, Housing and Residence Life requests that the recognition of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals as complete human beings not be equated with advocacy that everyone should be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. The confusion of these two very different ideas often leads to an unnecessary defensiveness on the part of some heterosexuals and non-transgender individuals.

Housing and Residence Life's support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and staff reflects the belief that the University must accept and integrate the Commonwealth’s diverse population into its educational community in ways that are responsible both to the University and to the Commonwealth.



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How Can Students Legally Change Their Names?


A person who lives in Hampshire County can obtain a change of name by filing a petition with the Hampshire County Probate and Family Court. How to do so is outlined in our Western Massachusetts Transgender Resource Guide.

Once you have a court-ordered name change, you can change your name on all UMass Amherst records by bringing a copy of the court order or a driver's license with your new name to the University Registrar's office (213 Whitmore) and filling out a name change form.


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How Can Students Have a Chosen Name on Class Rosters?


To have a chosen first name on class rosters, you can update your name in the Student Services Center in SPIRE under "Personal Information." Click on the "edit" box to add your chosen name.

Your chosen first name will appear on your main Student Center page on SPIRE, class rosters, and Moodle. Note: this process will not change your middle name on class rosters. To do so, contact Lynn Kells in the Registrar's Office at 413-545-0555.

Grade rosters will have your legal name, but your chosen name will appear immediately afterward in parenthesis -- e.g. George Jorgensen (Christine). All of your other official records will display only your legal name.

Changing your name on SPIRE will automatically add this name to your UMass online directory (but you have to follow the steps listed below to remove your legal name from the directory). To use a chosen name on Blackboard, call the E-Learning office: 413-545-9583.

NOTE: Changing your name in SPIRE will not change your name in other UMass software systems, such as in Campus Pulse, the Career Services and Residential Life databases, and in places where you swipe your UCard (including residence hall security desks, residential service desks, Dining Commons, and the Rec Center). To make this change, you need to change the name on your UCard.



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How Can Students Have a Chosen Name Rather than Their Legal Name on Their UCards (Student ID Cards) and Other Public Campus Records?


The name on a student's UCard is considered their campus name for all purposes. Students can change the first name on their UCards by filling out a form available from Genny Beemyn at the Stonewall Center in Crampton Hall and bringing the form to the Registrar's Office. Students do not need to have changed any other identification. There is no charge to get a new UCard issued in your chosen name. You can also update the picture on your UCard at no charge. If you are an incoming student, you can have your ID card issued in your chosen name. Please email Genny Beemyn, director of the Stonewall Center, to do so.

Please be aware that if you change the name on your UCard, emails sent to you and mailings sent home by the University will use this name, so you could be outed to family members if you are not already out as trans.



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How Can Students Change The Gender Marker on Campus Records?


Students can change the gender designation on UMass records by filling out a form available from Genny Beemyn at the Stonewall Center in Crampton Hall or from Lydia Rackenberg at the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health in Hills North. Students then bring the form to the Registrar's Office. No documentation is required. If you are an incoming student, you can have the gender marker changed before you arrive on campus. Please email Genny Beemyn, director of the Stonewall Center, to do so.


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How Can Students and Staff Have Their Chosen Name Rather than Their Legal Name Be Used in "People Finder" (the UMass Online Directory)?


Students can go into SPIRE and under "UMass Directory," choose "My Directory Info." If you uncheck "publish primary name," only your chosen first name will appear in People Finder.

Employees who are not current or former students can email directory@oit.umass.edu to request their chosen first name be used instead of their legal first name on People Finder. The request must be made from your official OIT email address



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How Can a Student Change the Name in Their UMass Email Address?


A student can change their UMass email address by making the request to the Account Management Office of the Office of Information Technologies (OIT) in A109 Lederle Graduate Research Center Lowrise. A photo identification will be needed to confirm your identity.


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How Can Students Have Their Chosen Name on Their Diplomas?


Diplomas are printed using the diploma name listed in SPIRE. You can view and update your diploma name in your SPIRE Student Center Graduation information. For an explanation of this process, go to the Registrar's web page about diplomas.


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What Health Care Services Are Available on Campus to Transitioning Students?


Transitioning students can have their mental health counseling, hormone replacement therapy, and gender-affirming surgeries covered under the student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP).

The Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH) has a trans-identified therapist, Ethan Suniewick. Students can schedule an appointment with him through calling the main CCPH number: 413-545-2337.

University Health Services (UHS) is able to prescribe, inject or teach to inject, and monitor hormones for trans students. The doctor who can prescribe is Ilana Schmitt, one of the staff physicians. Students interested in getting on hormones can call Cindy Hildebrand, a Registered Nurse, who is the trans point person for UHS and also the RN who works closely with Dr. Schmitt. Her phone number is 413-577-5040. Students can also speak to any of the resource nurses to schedule an appointment with Dr. Schmitt.

The specific trans male surgeries covered under student health insurance are: Mastectomy, Hysterectomy, Salpingo-oophorectomy, Vaginectomy, Metoidioplasty, Scrotoplasty, Urethroplasty, placement of testicular prostheses, and Phalloplasty. The trans female surgeries are: Orchiectomy, Penectomy, Vaginoplasty, Clitoroplasty, and Labiaplasty.

There is a $200 deductible, as well as a 15% co-insurance for participating physicians and a 25% co-insurance for out-of-network physicians. This means that students would be responsible for $200 and 15% or 25% of costs, depending upon the doctor was in or out of network, respectively.

For more information and the current protocol to follow, students should contact customer service at Consolidated Health Plans: 877-657-5027. If you encounter any difficulties, contact Lindsay Pease, Student Health Benefit Plan Manager at University Health Services: (413) 577-5192. The Director of the Stonewall Center, Genny Beemyn, can also provide support and assistance.



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Is the Rec Center Accommodating to Transgender Students?


The Rec Center has a private changing and shower room that is open to transgender and other students. The room is between the men's and women's locker rooms and has a lockable door (no key is required to gain access). Lockers are available immediately outside of the private changing room.


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Can Trans Students Participate in Campus (Non-NCAA) Sports?


Working with the Stonewall Center, the Rec Center developed the following policy, which is included in the Rec Center's Intramural Participant's Guide:

"When an activity makes gender designation, individuals may participate in the activity based on their gender identity. If an individual's gender identity does not fit within the binary framework of man/woman or the person is in the process of transitioning to a different gender, participation in a particular gender designated activity will be handled on a case by case basis."

The full intramural policy can be found here


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How Can I Change My Gender or Name with UMass as an Alumni?


To change your name, gender, and/or name prefix (such as Mr., Ms., or none) on alumni records, simply email your request to the Records and Gift Processing department at updates@admin.umass.edu.